Top of Page

Principal Opportunities

At Chicago Public Schools, our mission is to provide a high-quality public education for every child in every neighborhood, that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life. This important work is grounded in our Three-Year Blueprint: 2022-2025, created to ensure a strong recovery for our students following the COVID-19 pandemic and seize the opportunity to create a better, more equitable District.

CPS Principal Expectations

CPS Principals are key levers for change and are critical to the success of our schools. To fulfill our mission, CPS is committed to ensuring every school has strong leaders that provide opportunities for all students to achieve their fullest potential. We seek innovative, entrepreneurial, results-oriented school leaders with a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to the students in their schools and to the communities in which their schools reside.

CPS’ principal expectations are outlined in the CPS School Leadership Framework (Framework). The Framework organizes the work of a principal into four domains (competencies) and their underlying components. The School Leaders Rubric with Critical Attributes creates a shared understanding and common interpretation of each component in the Framework and guides supervisors in assessing the professional practice of principals.

Domain 1: Organizational Leadership

Oversees systems, structures, and processes for continuous improvement.

Domain 2: Instructional Core

Ensures rigorous and coherent curriculum, instruction and assessments aligned to the needs of every student.

Domain 3: Climate & Culture

Ensures that organizational norms, routines and systems equitably promote the students’ intellectual, social and emotional development.

Domain 4: Talent

Ensures identification, development and retention of diverse talent and cultivates leadership.

CPS Principal Requirements

Active Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Endorsements

To apply to principal positions, one must possess an Illinois Professional Educator’s License (PEL) and one of the following Administrative endorsements:

  • Principal
  • General Administrator
  • Superintendent

CPS Principal Eligibility

To be offered a Uniform Principal Contract, one must be a member of the CPS Principal Candidate Pool (Pool). This requirement applies to all candidates, both internal and external, and ensures that schools have the most qualified principal candidates prepared to succeed from the first day on the job.

Membership is obtained through the successful completion of the CPS Principal Eligibility Process, which is administered by the Department of Principal Quality, in alignment with the Principal Eligibility Policy (Board Policy 21-0428-PO1).

If you are unsure if you are currently a member of the Pool, you can search for your name in the public list or email

Residency Requirements


All employees of the Chicago Public Schools must adhere to the Residency Policy for All Employees of the Board of Education. All officers and employees hired on or after the date of the residency policy will be required to be residents of the City of Chicago within six months from the day their employment begins.

How to Apply

To apply, complete and submit the CPS Principal Candidate Application Form and attach your resume, cover letter, and other materials requested by the advertising LSC. Additional attachments will not be accepted. Submit a separate application form with material for each individual school to which you are applying. All materials must be in PDF format only. (Save your document in PDF format prior to submission.)

Principal positions are generally posted for two weeks and may be posted again after the application deadline or upon request by the LSC. Candidates do not need to reapply for reposted positions.

Note, the Department of Principal Quality or the Department of Local School Council Relations cannot provide updates to candidates on the status of their application.

Find out more information about individual CPS schools on the School Profiles page.

Find out more information about Local School Councils role in principal selection.

Visit the Department of Principal Quality for more details.

LSC Principal Selection Process

Each Local School Council (LSC):

  1. Determines position requirements and additional application materials based on the vision, mission, goals and needs of the individual school.
  2. Receives all qualified candidate resumes and applications within three (3) business days following the Application Deadline along with verification of each candidate’s Eligibility status.
  3. Determines their own interview process and timetable.
  4. May vote to select a principal candidate at any time following initial screening of candidates but often hold multiple interviews in order to select the most qualified candidate for their school. Many LSCs host candidate forums which are an opportunity for the school community to meet finalist candidates.
  5. Will contact candidates directly to schedule and conduct interviews for their school.

LSCs: Please follow Principal Posting Instructions and Principal Posting Template. Deadline to submit post is Tuesdays by 4pm.

Contract Principal Selection Process
To assist and inform the Local School Council (LSC) in the Principal Selection Process, a Principal Selection Committee (PSC) may be formed comprised of LSC members, teachers, and community representatives. This PSC may conduct certain steps in the process and may recommend its preferred candidate to the LSC.
Complete Training
  • LSC completes the Principal Selection Training provided by the Office Of LSC Relations prior to undertaking the process of selecting a principal candidate.
Prepare & Post Ad
  • LSC prepares advertisement for CPS Principal Opportunities.
  • The LSC may seek feedback from school community on content of the ad.
  • LSC votes to approve ad and LSC Chair gets approval of ad from the Chief of Schools.
  • LSC Chair submits approved ad to the Department of Principal Quality by Tuesday 4pm for Wednesday E-bulletin.
  • Ad must post a minimum of 10 school days.
Review Resumes
  • The Department of Principal Quality compiles and reviews all applicant Eligibility and sends a Candidate Slate, resumes, and materials to the LSC or PSC
    Chair for review within two days of closing of ad. Note, Candidate Slate will indicate each candidates’ Eligibility.
  • LSC or PSC reviews resumes against the Worksheet for Resume Screen and Resume Screening Guide (LSC Reference Guide Part 6 Forms 4 and 5).
  • LSC or PSC selects potential candidates for interviews.
  • If necessary, LSC or PSC repeats above steps until desired number of candidates is selected to advance to an interview.
Interview Candidates
  • LSC or PSC conducts first and, possibly, second round interviews with candidates.
  • LSC or PSC completes candidate Reference Checks.
Engage Community
  • LSC or PSC presents selected finalist(s) to the school community in an open forum.
  • LSC or PSC may provide an opportunity for teachers and parents to question finalizes and offer impression/comments after meeting candidates.
  • LSC or PSC reviews and assesses feedback.
Select Finalist
  • If a PSC was formed, may recommend its preferred candidate to the LSC.
  • LSC reviews recommendations of the PSC, if any, and selects finalist via public vote to award contract (7 votes minimum).
  • LSC extends an offer to the selected finalist.
  • LSC Chair notifies LSC Facilitator, Chief of Schools, and Principal Quality of selection.
  • Upon acceptance of the offer, the candidate signs five originals of four-year Board of Education’s Uniform Principal Performance Contract. Distribute: (1) new principal keeps; (1) LSC keeps; (1) delivered to Network office; (1) delivered to LSC relations; (1) delivered to Department of Principal Quality.

Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Board to prohibit unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of any protected category by the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Illinois and applicable federal, state or local laws or ordinances, including but not limited to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), specifically, but not limited to, discrimination, harassment or retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation, gender or sex (includes gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and pregnancy related medical conditions), race or ethnicity, ethnic group identification, ancestry, nationality, national origin, religion, color, mental or physical disability, age, immigration status, marital status, registered domestic partner status, genetic information, political belief or affiliation (not union-related), military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in the educational programs or activities the Board operates.

Concerns or inquiries regarding sex discrimination, harassment or retaliation can be made to the Board’s Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Student Protections (OSP) or the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

For incidents involving student victims, please see below for specific contact information:

  • Office of Student Protections and Title IX (OSP) at 773-535-4400 (student-to-student) (Inquiries regarding sports equity should be directed to
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG) at 833-TELL-CPS (833-835-5277) (adult-to-student) 
  • U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at 312-730-1560  or 

For incidents involving adult victims, please see below for specific contact information: 

  • Equal Opportunity Compliance Office (EOCO) at 773-553-1013 or
  • U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at 312-730-1560 or

Concerns or inquiries regarding discrimination, harassment or retaliation involving student victims on the basis of disability should be made to:

Concerns or inquiries regarding discrimination, harassment or retaliation on the basis of any other protected category listed above should be made to:

  • Principal of Student’s School (student victims)
  • Equal Opportunity Compliance Office (EOCO) at 773-553-1013 or (adult victims)

For further information see the Board’s Comprehensive Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy.

Non-Discrimination Statement

[ English  |  Spanish  |  Arabic  |  Chinese  |  Polish  |  Urdu ]